Cetamol production to resume from Sept: NDLState-owned Nepal Drugs Limited (NDL) will resume production of its popular pain relieving medicine, Cetamol, from mid-September.
State-owned Nepal Drugs Limited (NDL) will resume production of its popular pain relieving medicine, Cetamol, from mid-September.
The company floated this plan weeks after it restarted production of Jeevan Jal, an oral rehydration salt (ORS).
The company is planning to produce 320,000 units of Cetamol tablets every four days in the initial phase, according to NDL General Manager Robhash Kusam Subedi. “We will gradually scale up production,” said Subedi.
NDL has already initiated the process of renovating the production facility. “We have selected a company through open bidding to help us set up the new facility,” Subedi said. “The new facility will be built as per the World Health Organisation’s Good Manufacturing Practice.”
The government has already extended a credit line of Rs146.4 million to renovate NDL, of which Rs64.8 million is being released in the first phase.
Subedi claimed that Cetamol tablets manufactured by NDL would cost 10 percent less than similar products produced by other companies.
“We are still conducting a cost benefit analysis. But I can guarantee that retail price of every tablet of Cetamol produced by us would stand at less than Re1,” Subedi said. The drug manufacturer is also planning to produce tablets of the non-penicillin group in the coming days.
Established more than four decades ago, Nepal Drugs, the country’s oldest manufacturer of allopathic drugs, remained defunct for around eight years for failing to adopt Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). In its heyday, Nepal Drugs used to manufacture 120 types of allopathic drugs.
The company was given a new lease of life in September 2016 after the Cabinet approved former Industry Minister Nabindra Raj Joshi’s proposal to bring it back to life. It then started producing Jeevan Jal from May 22. Currently, NDL is producing 10,000 sachets of Jeevan Jal per day.
Subedi said the company is planning provide free medicine in remote areas of Nepal in coordination with the Ministry of Health. He said the demand for medicines is huge in remote areas.
“We want to be known as a company that caters to underprivileged groups of people,” Subedi added.
NDL is currently mulling over producing all 70 types of medicines that the government intends to distribute for free to citizens. It is also planning to produce sensitive vaccines, like anti-rabies and anti-snake venom, by mid-April 2018.
According to Department of Drug Administration (DDA), the drugs worth around Rs28 billion are produced throughout the country. The country currently has 14,746 pharmacy outlets, and 51 domestic and 288 foreign medicine suppliers.